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Deadly pig virus here?

THE first case of a virus that can wipe out a barn's weanling pigs within a week is suspected in Manitoba.

The Chief Veterinary Office of Manitoba is expected to confirm this morning porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) has been discovered on a Manitoba farm.

The location of the farm was not revealed Thursday.

The virus is not a threat to humans. Adult pigs recover from the virus. However, PEDv has the potential to obliterate the piglet population and cost the industry tens of millions of dollars.

Steps are being taken to contain the virus. The farm in question has been sealed off and pigs on neighbouring farms are being inspected by veterinarians, said the Manitoba Pork Council.

PEDv was initially found in the United States. It surfaced in Ontario last month.

PEDv is spread in feces. The suspicion is a trailer that had been out of province may have carried the virus into Manitoba.

A piglet can die within six days and the virus is highly contagious to others in a litter.

The pork council cautions producers to make sure any trucks or trailers that come onto their yards be properly washed and disinfected.

Court won't hear Katz case

THE Supreme Court of Canada won't hear an appeal in the case of a Winnipeg man who alleges the mayor violated provincial conflict-of-interest laws.

Mayor Sam Katz came under fire for hosting a $3,000 Christmas party in December 2010 for city councillors and staff at an Asian restaurant he owned.

Joe Chan, owner of another restaurant, asked the courts to find Katz had broken the law and used his influence to have public money spent at his establishment.

A lower court ruled Katz did not book the event at his establishment and found no evidence he pressured city staff to do so.

The Manitoba Court of Appeal upheld that finding, as well as a ruling that ordered Chan to pay Katz $10,000 in legal costs.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.

Fined for smoke shop

FOUR aboriginal men have been fined $190,000 for running a smoke shop that sold cut-rate cigarettes in Manitoba.

Provincial court Judge Shauna Hewitt-Michta sentenced the group Wednesday in Brandon.

Dakota Plains First Nation Chief Orville Smoke told the judge the intent of the Dakota Chundee Smoke Shop was to provide revenue for his impoverished people.

He said it was also intended to draw attention to the need for better living conditions on area reserves.

The judge accepted the smoke shop wasn't run out of greed and noted some of the proceeds were used on the reserves.

However, she ruled the men deliberately created and persisted in an enterprise they knew was illegal.

Smoke, along with Frank Brown, former chief of the Canupawakpa Dakota Nation, and Charles and Garth Blacksmith, faced several offences under both the Tax Administration and Miscellaneous Taxes Act and the Tobacco Tax Act.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 14, 2014 A2

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